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A skeptic cautiously tries some bizarre-sounding health advice 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham

Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Five years ago, against practically anyone’s better judgment, I knowingly abandoned any semblance of medical evidence to follow the bizarre-sounding health advice of strangers on the internet. The treatment was extreme, expensive, and potentially dangerous.

This is from a well-written, thoughtful, sobering personal essay by science journalist Julie Rehmeyer, who has also written a book about her experience, Through the Shadowlands. I don’t know what to make of the key claims of the “moldies,” people who believe their health is affected by even trace amounts of mold. But the author is sharp and clearly approached the whole thing with the greatest possible caution and still came out thinking there might be something to it.

I relate strongly to her story on multiple levels: as a health science writer who constantly deals with bogus health claims, and as someone who has suffered seriously from medically unexplained symptoms myself. Hell, I could even be a moldie and not know it. Probably not, but it's far from the craziest idea I've heard — and I live in one of the wettest big cities on Earth!

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